Hello again everyone, Hailey here to tell you about my past few weeks on the #GEC and our first American trip! With Brittany leaving the team for a month to go to Europe, there was plenty of room for me to meet new people on the last four trips. In addition to meeting more employees from NatureFresh™ Farms, I was finally able to meet the rest of the team members.
I was first introduced to Mitch, being from very close hometowns we instantly recognized each other. Knowing Mitch’s outgoing and high-energy personality I immediately knew it was going to be an exciting summer. The following week I was introduced to Cole, a student from Ohio who grew up on a farm. Not having intimate knowledge of a farming community it was fascinating to hear stories about his background. Shortly after meeting Cole I was introduced to our last team member Noah. Noah is also a student who grew up on a farm in Missouri. Listening to Noah and Cole talk about their past gave me a new appreciation for the farming communities. After only one trip to the Greater Toronto Area we were all well bonded and knew it was going to be an excellent summer.
Our first trip as almost an entire team was May 18th to the 21st where we visited a series of beautiful Loblaws stores. Having the whole team together made the days feel extremely short. We were able to joke and laugh while still creating enthusiasm towards the greenhouse industry and more specifically NatureFresh™ Farms! The following weekends were also to Loblaw’s stores. It is always enjoyable meeting the new store managers and some of their employees. Loblaw’s employees always have a way of making you feel welcome in their stores and appreciated for what we are doing. Moreover it is amazing to see employees interested in learning our story to share to others around them whether a future customer or friends and family. To my surprise many of the store managers encouraged their employees to take a break and get a run through of the trailer and what buying NatureFresh™ produce really entails. One employee was so captivated by the trailer after her shift she brought her new puppy back for some pictures with the trailer. Other employees brought back family and friends later in the day to show them our mobile greenhouse! On top of seeing the spectacle wonder of the trailer we also had our #TOMZ red cherry tomatoes for sample. As always people were astounded with the flavor NatureFresh™ Farms has brought back to the tomato game, some consumers will even claim it tastes just like a tomato grown from their backyard garden!
Following many weeks in Canada, we were off to our first week in America; and a after a long 11-hour drive our team had finally arrived in Virginia. This was our first trip to America and I couldn’t have been more excited. The drive to Virginia was absolutely beautiful, this was my first trip to the state of Virginia and it did not disappoint the rolling hills and winding roads made for quite the scenery. After a good nights rest we headed to my very first Wegmans store! To say the least I was astounded, such an amazing store with a great deal of variety. Not only was the store amazing but the employees who work there. At each store we were greeted upon arrival by the store and produce managers. Once fully set up people were very interested in finding out what the trailer was and sampling our produce. I was also very excited to finally try some OhioRed tomatoes on the vine. As expected they were bursting with flavor and I was pleased to see that the customers thought so as well. Collectively the people of Virginia were extraordinarily friendly which allowed me to engage in some riveting conversations. Something I have noticed from these trips thus far, is that I am learning everyday alongside those I am trying to inspire at the trailer. Every person that comes up to the trailer has a unique view on how NatureFresh™ has inspired them to #EatFresh and influence those around them to follow in their footsteps. Additionally, the sense of community within the Wegmans stores has definitely made me excited to embark on more adventures and discover other grocery stores in America.
As a final note the other team members and I are over-the-moon to have our team member Brittany back and finally take part in our first trip all together as a full team!
Until next time, HQ.